Commendations were set to be a potentially exciting new element of Destiny 2‘s Lightfall era, as they were meant to be a way to acknowledge other players who may have been helpful or otherwise contributed to a positive experience. The reality of how the system works, however, has been a system where players mindlessly spam commendations without regard, in part due to the way they are tied into progression systems. Bungie has already made some tweaks to how commendations factor into Guardian Ranks, but more changes are also on the way.
As part of a lengthy blog post detailing future plans for Destiny 2 and its response to feedback since Lightfall’s launch, Bungie first outlined the purpose of commendations. “Commendations are meant to create cycles of gratitude so that players are thankful for one another,” it explained. “They should reinforce that the most celebrated Guardians are those who have earned the respect of their peers by helping them out.”
The number of commendations you receive will reset each season, whereas only a percentage of your commendation score will be lost from season to season. Your commendation breakdown (meaning the split between the different categories of commendations you receive) is tracked from season to season along with your score.
To help preserve the progress you make each season, your “recent seasonal history” will be displayed in a new area of the Journey screen, pictured below, being introduced in Season 21. This will include not just your commendation score and breakdown, but also your seasonal Triumph, seasonal challenges, and Guardian Ranks.
Having already reduced the number of commendations required to make your way through Guardian Ranks 7-11, Bungie admitted that the existing system is “too closely tied to progression,” saying it has work to do but that “plans are already in motion.”
“We’re re-tuning some values so active players can be much more deliberate about who they do or don’t want to give a commendation, without worrying about the amount they’ve given holding them back from their goals,” Bungie explained.
Prior to a recent update, players had to issue 20 commendations per week in order to receive a Powerful reward from Hawthorne. That number is now just five, lessening the pressure to rapidly hand out commendations to teammates before they can leave a match.
But another issue concerns higher Guardian Ranks. A change is coming in Season 21 for the Leadership commendations needed to reach ranks 10 and 11, as those will begin to be counted retroactively for the season. That means any of those commendations you receive while still at lower ranks will be counted once you make it to those final two ranks.
Finally, a new commendation will be introduced “in the coming weeks” called Best Dressed. This will be joined by updated “eligibility” for commendations based on participation in an activity, which sounds like an attempt to curb players gaming the system to spam commendations.
It’s clear that commendations still need more work in order for them to fulfill their intended purpose. As it stands, their initial implementation caused players to develop bad habits and fully undermined any meaning behind them, but these changes at least sound like a step in the right direction.
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